Scrappage scheme pays off for Hyundai as i10 sales rocket
WHAT is the only South Korean car in the British top 10 sellers?
It is a stubby little 56mpg, five-door hatchback from Hyundai. called the i10, with prices from £7,725. It sold 11,088 in the first three months, taking ninth spot just behind the Renault Clio and pipping the Mini by 61 units. (Source: SMMT).
Hyundai sold 15,241 cars in March alone and is one of the companies which did really well with sales under the Government/industry £2,000 scrappage fee, which ended on March 31 after nine months.
This rebate has generated sales through autumn, winter and early spring. Ford did best of all, and its Fiesta was the quarter’s best seller (35,802) followed by Focus (27,977), Corsa (23,267), Astra (22,925), Golf (16,950), Polo (15,187) and Peugeot 207 (14,201).
Sales in March were up 26.6 per cent, to 397,383 (albeit compared with a poor March in 2009) and scrappage deals accounted for 12.2 per cent. UK-built cars were up 52 per cent in the month. Scrappage sales were 14.4pc in the first quarter, with total sales up 27.3pc, at 611,548, split just about equally between high-profit private purchases and heavily discounted fleet and business sales.
It is anybody’s guess what will happen following the ending of the scrappage scheme. The omens are not good, though some carmakers, including Hyundai and its, partner Kia, are offering carry-over incentives.
Most high-end carmakers have taken very few scrappage cars. Porsche reported just 16, for example, no doubt a garage-clearing exercise for owners rather than a financial necessity.
Land Rover’s March sales were the highest monthly total in its 62 years, up 67pc to reach 11,300. Global sales were up 43pc in March and 36.6pc for the first quarter. Booming markets are China, Korea, Switzerland, Turkey and Brazil. China is the third largest buyer after the UK and US.
Managing director Phil Popham says: “The sales increase is mainly owing to the phenomenal response received from customers and media to the awardwinning 2010 model year Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery 4 and Freelander 2. It is the most efficient and technologically advanced line-up of vehicles Land Rover has ever had.”
Its brethren at Jaguar did well in the circumstances. Both the XF and XK boomed in the first quarter and in March, though the discontinuation of the X-Type and awaited replacement for the XJ took the polish off overall sales, which were ahead by only 1.1 per cent in March. Its XF is a huge solo success.
The boost in sales of UK-built cars came from the Ellesmere Port Astra factory, from Jaguar, Land Rover, Honda, Toyota and Nissan – the latter with 81pc of its sales from Sunderland is the biggest maker of cars in Britain. Its best-seller is the recently revised Qashqai.
Nissan’s own scrappage-inspired offer provides a minimum £2,000 trade-in against a British-built Nissan for any model over seven years old.
WINNERS: Hyundai’s i10 and Land Rover’s latest Discovery.